Google Trends data shows a 77% increase in the term “Cruise Holidays” for September 2023 compared to September 2022, according to Iglu Cruise.
Many holidaymakers are seeking the benefits of cruising, including getting to visit many destinations in one go, having world-class entertainment onboard and having access to fine dining all whilst sailing the seas.
With that being said, Chief Commercial Officer of Iglu Cruise, Dave Mills, has revealed the top tips to be aware of before booking your first cruise.
- Check the Daily Cruise Schedule
When you embark on a cruise, you will receive a schedule of what is going on around the ship, including entertainment, activities, and timings for port days. Have a look at this every morning so you can work out what you want to see to ensure you make the most of your holiday and don’t miss out on the fun.
You may also be able to find out about any daily offers. For example, some cruise lines will offer a drink of the day at a discounted price, a special offer on dining, or a discounted price on selected spa treatments.
Sometimes a schedule can be found on the cruise line app before you embark, and you may be able to book seats for an event or show on your cruise. It’s therefore a good idea to download the app ahead for your voyage.
- Pack Appropriately
There is no luggage limit on a cruise, so you take as many clothes as you like, but there are still some top cruise tips to keep in mind. On just about every cruise, there will be a formal night where guests can get dressed up in their finery, so if you’re looking to eat in the restaurants or grab a drink at the bar, remember to pack a cocktail dress or a suit.
Some cruise lines may be strict about dress codes, so remember to bring some smart shoes too. If you’re unsure about what may or may not be appropriate, get in touch with your cruise line before you embark.
It’s also a good idea to pack some layers even if you’re embarking on a voyage in the sun, such as to the Caribbean. The sea breeze can be chilly, so be sure to pack a jumper or a cardigan.
- Plan Onshore Activities
Before your cruise departs, you’ll have a good idea of the destinations you’re going to visit during the voyage. You can book onshore excursions before you embark, meaning you’ll get to visit some of the most amazing attractions in the city or location you are visiting. Plus, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your activities are all planned with a trustworthy professional (and you won’t miss your port times).
Make the most of your cruise by researching any particular excursions you may want to try in port. It’s best to do this a few months before your trip, as space on these can sometimes be limited.
It’s also advisable to be wary about the length and activity level involved in an excursion. Some excursions can require lots of walking, often through narrow streets, steep hills or staircases, so be realistic about your own ability.
- Do Some Cabin Research
It’s no secret that some cruise ships are huge, and where your cabin is located on the ship is crucial. Bigger cruise ships often have everything from theatres, bars, restaurants and even nightclubs. Some people want to be close to the action, whereas others may want a quieter stay.
Either way, you’re going to want to look at the deck plan and book a cabin that’s right for you.
An inside cabin is almost always cheaper, so this is a great option for those who are looking to save money or don’t plan to spend a lot of time in their room. Whereas others will want an oceanview suite.
Have a browse for the type of cabin you’d like and if you aren’t sure which cabin is right for you, an expert agent will be able to help you choose the best cabin at the best value.
- Plan Your Package Deals
Most cruise lines offer all-you-can-eat food included in the price of your ticket, especially when eating in the main buffet area. However, it should be noted that some cruises will charge extra for certain restaurants or a la carte menus.
Drink packages are also something to think about. Many cruise companies sell drink packages at a fixed daily price, meaning guests can enjoy an unlimited selection of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks without worrying about running up an enormous bar bill. However, if you’re not a big drinker, or you plan to spend most of your time off the ship onshore, then a drinks package may not be worth it for you.
If you plan to stay connected to the world whilst onboard your cruise, or plan to be posting on social media, you may need to think about a wifi package. While some cruise ships offer wifi as a built-in price, others charge extra, so make sure to do some research.